Victorino ready to embrace Boston's tradition
All-Star outfielder introduced at Thursday news conference
By Evan Drellich / 12/13/12 12:13 PM ET
Outfielder Shane Victorino officially joined the Red Sox on Thursday, as he was introduced at a news conference the club held at Fenway Park.
The 32-year-old gives the Sox a center-field-caliber right fielder: He comes to the Sox with three Gold Gloves and a three-year deal for $39 million.
"The reason I chose the Red Sox over other organizations is the tradition, the history, the makeup of the team," Victorino said. "The last couple of years have been tough for the Boston organization, but we look beyond that now and look forward to 2013 and being that organization that we can be."
Victorino has spent the entirety of his nine-year career in the National League and has a career .275/.341/.430 line.
"He fits perfectly into our short- and long-term plan," Sox GM Ben Cherington said. "He's been an outstanding performer for a lot of years in a tough place to play. He's been a big part of great teams. He's a guy that can do a lot of things on the baseball field. He's a great defender, great baserunner, great hitter from both sides of the plate and one of the highest-energy players in the game."
Meanwhile, another hitter the Sox agreed to terms with at the Winter Meetings, first baseman Mike Napoli, is still in the wind. Boston appeared to have reached a deal with Napoli a day earlier than it did Victorino -- but the former still has not been introduced. Napoli was reported to have had his physical Monday, and it's possible something negative arose in the evaluation.
Cherington didn't acknowledge the Napoli signing at the time it broke.
"We've made some progress and he's a guy who gets on base, has power and could be a good fit for our ballpark," Cherington said in Nashville, Tenn., where the Winter Meetings were held.
Napoli, like Victorino, was believed to have a three-year, $39 million contract.